The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Health wanted to improve the delivery of healthcare services to its 8 million citizens. Working in partnership with ITWorx and Etisalat, the ministry is developing a new website and e-services based on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. By modernizing its systems, the ministry expects to improve its immunization services, better track infectious diseases, and reduce the time spent on processing applications by 80 percent. Summary
One of 19 federal ministries within the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Ministry of Health is responsible for ensuring that residents have access to primary healthcare services. The ministry wanted to modernize its systems to deliver more efficient service and improve healthcare awareness among its 8 million citizens.
Working together with Microsoft Partner Network member ITWorx, the UAE Ministry of Health developed a central website with three e-services based on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. The website is being hosted in a third-party data center owned by global telecommunications company Etisalat. Both the website and e-services are in the user testing stage and will be made broadly available by the end of 2012.
|If someone gets into an accident and a doctor needs to schedule an emergency operation, he can quickly go to the website and see if the patient has the vaccinations needed to go ahead with the surgery.|
| Ahmed Selaiteen|
Project Manager, UAE Ministry of Health IT Department
The website is intended to make it easier for UAE citizens to access critical healthcare information. In addition, the three e-services—which automate the ministry’s immunization services, its infectious disease reporting system, and the approval process for placing medical advertisements in the media—are aimed at reducing the time citizens, healthcare providers, and employees must spend on administrative tasks.
“By automating the medical advertisement application process, the time it takes to get approvals should be lowered from several months to just a few days, and the time our workers spend on these applications should be reduced by at least 80 percent,” says Ahmed Selaiteen, Project Manager within the UAE Ministry of Health IT Department.
Ultimately, the goal is to give people easy access to the services of the ministry. ”SharePoint makes it easy to do that. It provides a lot of out-of-the-box features that make it easy to customize our content,” Selaiteen says. The Full Story Making Healthcare Accessible to All
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Health is charged with ensuring that its 8 million residents have access to primary healthcare. The ministry also seeks to reduce lifestyle diseases and increase the readiness of the health system to deal with epidemics and other health risks.
The UAE Ministry of Health already had a public website that was developed by internal staff, but information was disorganized and difficult to find, according to Ahmed Selaiteen, Project Manager within the UAE Ministry of Health IT Department. In addition, many of the ministry’s processes were paper-based, making it cumbersome to approve applications and track important health information.
To provide world-class healthcare, the ministry wanted to build a central website that would serve as a one-stop shop for citizens to gain access to healthcare information and e-services. The website would be a place where citizens and medical providers could obtain healthcare e-services and retain personalized records of their health histories. It would also be a place where they received health tips and ministry news. Automating Paper-Based Services
To build the website, the Ministry of Health enlisted Microsoft Partner Network member ITWorx, an Egypt-based professional services organization that provides software solutions to Global 2000 companies.
The ministry worked with ITWorx to revamp its website to make information easier to find. It also added three e-services—all designed to improve citizen access to healthcare information and government services.
- The immunization module stores immunization schedules online to help ensure that citizens get vaccinated promptly and receive proper immunization care. It also automates the process of registering medical providers and entering citizens’ immunization schedules.
- The infectious disease surveillance module offers relevant information in a single location to help citizens increase their awareness of infectious diseases. It also automates the reporting of infectious diseases by providing the required forms and workflows on the Ministry of Health website.
- The medical advertisement module automates the government approval process for medical-related advertisements. In the UAE, organizations must obtain government approval before placing medical advertisements in the media. The medical advertisement module provides qualifying organizations with a user name and password so that they can electronically submit proposed ads for review. Once the ads are approved, healthcare organizations are routed to the Ministry of Finance, where they can pay for the ads online.
“SharePoint offered a very powerful system for customizing and managing the content, while Microsoft Dynamics CRM provided the workflows and the required reporting on the back end,” says Hossam Eloraby, Delivery Manager, Gulf at ITWorx. “Because these applications have the same look and feel as other Microsoft Office applications, they were easy for ministry officials to learn.”
The website and the three add-on services are in the user test stages and will be rolled broadly by the end of 2012.The website will be hosted in a third-party data center managed by the telecommunications company Etisalat.
Real Impact for Today’s Healthcare
By building its website on SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the Ministry of Health has been able to present healthcare information to citizens in a way that’s easier to find. “We want to reduce the headaches of finding information,” Selaiteen says.
For example, the infectious disease surveillance module will make it easy for citizens and medical providers to find critical information about infectious diseases by consolidating it in a single location. Likewise, the immunization module will enable citizens and medical providers to access their entire vaccination histories on one screen.
“If someone gets into an accident and a doctor needs to schedule an emergency operation, he can quickly go to the website and see if the patient has the vaccinations needed to go ahead with the surgery,” Selaiteen says.
By consolidating healthcare information in a central location, the Ministry of Health can improve the delivery of healthcare services. “Previously, the ministry couldn’t manage all the immunizations that were requested,” says Eloraby. “But with all of this information in one place, they can figure out how many people need a particular vaccine and then reach out to the clinics to make sure people who need vaccines get them.”
Finally, by turning manual-based systems into automated e-services, the ministry will dramatically reduce the time it takes to report medical information and obtain approvals for applications.
“By automating the medical advertisement application process, the time it takes to get approvals should be lowered from several months to just a few days, and the time our workers spend on these applications should be reduced by at least 80 percent,” Selaiteen says.
Until now, citizens were required to come to the ministry at least four or five times and wait in a long queue to get their ads approved. “Now they won’t have to come at all—they can do it all online,” Selaiteen says. “That’s a tremendous time savings.”
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